President Trump, no stranger to promoting preposterous conspiracy theories, reached new heights in both disgusting racism and paranoid fearmongering this morning when he accused the large caravan of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras of concealing “Middle Easterners” (obvious code for terrorists).
Not content to merely repeat baseless accusations from his Twitter account, the President deployed his Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, to back up his assertion.
Sarah Sanders tell reporters Trump "absolutely" has credible evidence there are middle Easterners in the migrant caravan. "We have 10 individuals suspected or known terrorists that try to enter our country everyday." (Trump didn't say terrorists, he said Middle Easterners.)
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 22, 2018
The “10 individuals” appears to be based on an assertion by Vice President Pence, who said earlier this year that “7 terrorists were apprehended every day trying to cross the southern border,” a claim that was rated as “Pants on Fire” by Politifact.
By any stretch of the imagination, the idea that Salafi terrorists are traveling from the Middle East to Mexico in order to make the incredibly dangerous trek across the desert in order to commit terrorist acts in tiny Texas border towns is ridiculous.
It’s also false, as a senior counterterrorism official confirmed to CNN’s Jessica Schneider.
A senior counterterrorism official tells me, when I asked about this tweet from @POTUS, “we do not see any evidence that ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border.” https://t.co/OrNW9u5Qyt
— Jessica Schneider (@SchneiderCNN) October 22, 2018
Unsurprisingly, when pressed for more details, the White House and other official government outlets are suddenly unavailable for comment:
I asked WH, State Dept, DHS, and CBP to provide evidence about Trump's claim that "unknown Middle Easterners" were part of the migrant caravan. Here's what they say (or don't) https://t.co/WXSZRKfgRO pic.twitter.com/BP9s4qnhNm
— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) October 22, 2018
Following on the heels of the President’s absurd promise that Congress would pass a middle-class tax cut in the two weeks before the midterms (Congress is not in session and will not be again until after the midterms), it’s clear that as Trump’s worry at losing his majority in Congress is driving him to even further heights of both racism and prevarication.
President InfoWars is obviously trying to inflame his support base by provoking all the boogeymen that live in their heads: George Soros is funding migrant caravans who are coming to take yer jobs while concealing MS-13 bandits who are going to inject fentanyl into your children’s eyeballs with ISIS terrorists who are going to impose sharia law on Christian communities.
It remains to be seen how much of the country, which is sadly much more racist than we might think, is going to react to these kinds of obvious lies. One shudders to think of what’s to come if the president is already stooping to such extreme depths with so much time left to go before Election Day.